INTRODUCTION President Jorge Videla of Argentina has accused a group of Argentina financiers of handling millions of pounds (dollars) in funds for left wing guerrillas - investing it to aid armed subversion in the country.
GV President Jorge Videla of Argentina entering army headquarters room, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
GV Military officials and newsmen seated.
SV Videla addressing gathering. (In English)
Initials VS 21.05
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION President Jorge Videla of Argentina has accused a group of Argentina financiers of handling millions of pounds (dollars) in funds for left wing guerrillas - investing it to aid armed subversion in the country. But, he told reporters, the guerrilla movement was almost defeated now.
SYNOPSIS: He made his statement at a four hour news conference at army headquarters in the Argentinean capital, Buenos Aires. It was the first official comment on reports that a group headed by the Argentine financier, David Graiver, invested about ten million pounds Sterling (17 million dollars US) amassed by Montoneros guerrillas through kidnappings and holdups.
General Videla said six of 17 people arrested in connection with the case, including Graiver's father, his widow and a brother, had been stripped of their civil rights by the ruling military junta. However, he make no mention of the fate of Senor Jacobo Timerman, the publisher of a leading newspaper, La Opinion Daily, who is being detained by the Army in connection with the case.
President Videla said the group of financiers, which included former Government officials, had connections both in Argentina and abroad. He said all means would be exhausted to reach the bottom of the affair. The Army administration had promised to annihilate subversion and was honouring its word, he said. The Administration had also promised to win peace and would indeed win it, not negotiate it, he added.
President Videla said the guerrillas in Argentina had almost been wiped out, and were now restricted to scattered terrorist bomb attacks. However, the Army estimates that the guerrillas still maintain between 30 and 60 percent of their former efficiency in greater Buenos aires, in nearby La Plata, and in towns along the River Parana. But even as President Videla was speaking, leaders of the main forces opposing his military regime were gathering in Rome to announce they were combining their opposition. The groups included the Montoneros and the Authentic Peronist Movement. They have formed the Peronist - Montonero Movement dedicated to turning argentina into a socialist state and overthrowing the Military Administration. The Movement says it also wants free elections to be held, and in the meantime urban guerrilla warfare against Argentina's military administration would continue.